Time to pack. I look at the schedule in horror. 15 days without laundry. How did this happen? Fire the manager!
Oh, wait. That would be me.
On show days I go through 3 outfits (street clothes and two sets of stage). How will I fit all that in the van? Good thing I'm not tall.
I work off a five page master packing list. It holds everything I've ever needed ontour. I assume I can eliminate at least half, since I don't need foreign currency, passport, or knee pads.
Wrong. Still four pages.
Two hanging bags, suitcase, two guitars, a large gear box filled with cables, strings, mics, pedals, for stage. A suitcase, computer bag, and home traction kit for me.. Plus a "spares bag" that holds the second half of those 15 days. Also an old spare computer in its original box.
This can't be. Must ramp down. I take a half day, unpack everything, lose two T-shirts and a pair of socks.Then I add my sneakers.
Oh wait! We're going to Maine. In the winter. Thank God the spares bag is expandable. I manage to stuff vest, hat, scarf, gloves in, though I can't close it until I sit on it while holding our new puppy, Gracie Mae. Who has quadrupled in size and weight in the past month. Hm. Perhaps I should just put everything inside her. She's obviously expanding.
This doesn't include merchandise, posters, paperwork. Not to mention our new credit card machine, the Square, which we will attach to our new iPad while facing East and saying strenuous prayers for its good health and reliability
Feeling managerial, I talk with my agents. None of the folk shows are selling well this season. Ditto jazz, Celtic, "indie" and "Americana", whatever they are now. There are clear reasons, and I posted them all in my own forum here as well as here, on my own Facebook page. I suggest going to the forum, since Facebook arbitrarily removes my posts when I'm not looking. I'm too busy packing to keep up anyway.
I've had a few distractions. Bette Midler and I spent a day working on a lovely song called "I Will Bring You Spring." I've been telling her she should try writing songs since I first met her, back around 1974 - and for a first-time songwriter she was incredible. Pat and I spent the next evening eating sushi with Bette and her husband Martin, laughing a lot. I feel better afterwards; I bet even Bette Midler has to pack when she goes on tour. Though probably not as many bags. Or maybe more. She's taller than I am.
Gracie Mae is one of the great teethers of all time, so I'm doubly grateful to Karensews for the cool Rude Girl stuffy. Also to whoever invented ice cubes, which provide her with a cheap fun way to ruin the kitchen floor while chewing on them.
Spent a great night at the Belcourt with Walter Egan, Don Henry, Diana Jones, Gretchen Peters, Darryl Purpose and Barry Walsh. Left wishing we could take it on the road. In fact, Diana will be on the road with me for a few shows, and I'll be working with Tom Paxton as well.
Uh oh. Just remembered I'm in the studio tomorrow laying down new songs, and at the Bluebird Saturday. Well, that leaves Sunday to re-pack...
Free download of "Swannanoa."
A new song, in honor of the Swannanoa Gathering's 25th anniversary! Says Janis: "A writer is always influenced by what she hears around her. This will be my third visit to Swannanoa Gathering. There's something lonesome in the air, some sense of longing in the hills, that always strikes me when I arrive - and pains me when I leave.” Visit the Free Downloads page to download this song and many others.
Items On Sale
We just put 3 double-CD sets on sale in the Janis Ian Shopping Mall! Best of Janis Ian, Remember: Live '77, and Working Without A Net are all on sale right now at very low prices. AND we found a box of the DVD Live From Grand Center, so that's on sale too! Of course, the poetry audio book, Who Really Cares is also on sale.
Who Really Cares Audiobook Now Available!
On sale right now in the Shopping Mall. Originally published in 1969, Who Really Cares began as a collection of the poems Janis had been writing since the age of seven. The book was later expanded with 10 previously unpublished poems that had been rejected by the original publisher, and a new poem. Janis took the opportunity afforded by her winning a Spoken Word Grammy to create this audiobook.